Judiciary officials, employees given ‘special privileged leave’ for COVID vaccinations

Published May 30, 2021, 11:43 AM

by Rey Panaligan 

Supreme Court

All judiciary officials and employees, even justices and judges, have been allowed “special privileged leave” during their vaccinations against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

This means that all of them will have a two-day leave of absence which would not be deducted from their leave credits. Vaccines against COVID-19 are given in two separate doses at least 30 days apart.

The grant of “special privileged leave” was approved by Chief Justice Alexander G. Gesmundo who allowed its retroactive implementation. Those who had their vaccinations before the approval of the request last May 19 are entitled to the two-day leave of absence.

The request was made by Chief Administrative Officer Maria Carina M. Cunanan and submitted by Clerk of Court Marife M. Lomibao Cuevas for Gesmundo’s approval.

The approval was relayed to justices and personnel of the lower appellate collegiate courts – Court of Appeals, Court of Tax Appeals and Sandiganbayan – and the judges and employees of the trial courts in a circular dated last May 28 and issued by Court Administrator Jose Midas P. Marquez.

About 30,000 officials and employees of the judiciary had been included in the A4 priority group in the government’s vaccination program.

The National Task Force (NTF) against COVID-19 had granted the SC’s request which stated that “justices, judges, and court personnel of the Philippine Judiciary are frontline government workers in the justice sector, whose functions are essential at all times, especially during the pandemic.”